Just weeks after a series of store closings and market consolidation moves, 84 Lumber said April 7 that it will close 30 more stores nationwide as a weak housing market continues to take its toll.

Ten stores will be closed and consolidated in core markets, the company said. 84 Lumber will close six more stores and exit those markets altogether while it shutters another 14 stores in underperforming markets.

The 10 stores being closed are in Visalia, Calif.; Gastonia, N.C.; Apex, N.C.; Copley, Ohio; Burlington, N.J.; Saginaw, Stafford and Deer Park, Texas; Gonzales, La.; and South Kansas City, Mo. In each case, a neighboring, larger facility will serve customers in those locations, 84 Lumber said in a company statement.

"As we continue to assess our store operations and current state of the new-home construction market, we are decisively closing stores that are operating in unprofitable markets, and consolidating others in metro markets," said Frank Cicero, executive vice president of store operations. He said that by reducing the number of stores in some metro markets and using a hub store, which offers a variety of services, "we can operate more efficiently in these markets."

In six markets, 84 Lumber "has assessed that the company does not have the level of resources or stores to efficiently and profitably serve those markets," the company said. They are Tucson, Ariz.; Forest Grove, Ore.; Meridian, Ind.; Corpus Christi, Texas; Milton, Fla.; and Gilroy, Calif.

"Given the current state of the overall market, we want to direct our resources into those core markets where we have substantial operations," Cicero said. "While these six markets have reasonable activity, we have decided to exit these markets for the time being."

The 14 stores being closed because of low or no housing growth in their markets are in Sidney, Greenville, Marysville and Zanesville, Ohio; Ann Arbor and Flint, Mich.; New Castle, Ind.; Bluff City, Tenn.; Harrisonburg, Va.; Lafayette, N.J.; Williamstown, W.Va.; Cabot, Ark.; Kingsland, Ga.; and Albertville, Ala.

In March, 84 Lumber announced a similar set of closings and consolidation moves involving nine locations, but said it would exit just one market: Santa Rosa, Calif. 84 Lumber operates more than 380 locations nationwide, including component manufacturing facilities.

–Andy Carlo

When the Bulb Breaks, Some Mercury May Fall

You may feel better using or selling compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), championed as they are for their energy and environment savings. But the bulbs have a caveat many people, according to recent news reports, don't know or realize that's not as feel-good.

CFLs contain mercury, which is what gives the bulbs their energy efficiency; CFLs use up to 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs. But mercury also is a neurotoxin that causes birth defects and harm to children and fetuses. Therefore, CFLs cannot be merely thrown away or simply recycled.

Although the amount of mercury in a CFL is small–an average of 5 milligrams, or about enough to cover the tip of a ball-point pen, according to the Energy Star Web site–it's enough to land CFLs in a special recycling bin. Trouble is that's not happening, according to news reports. Recycling centers that take CFLs are few, and hazardous substance disposal centers are not always easy to find. Some states have made it illegal to toss a CFL in the garbage in order to keep contamination issues at bay.

Break a CFL, and you're dealing with your own toxic substance cleanup with myriad steps to follow, including venting the room for 15 minutes and shutting off your HVAC system. (Steps on cleaning up after a CFL break can be found at www.energystar.gov.)

EPA is working with CFL manufacturers and U.S. retailers to expand recycling and disposal options. Meanwhile, call your local municipal solid waste agency, or go to epa.gov/bulbrecycling or www.earth911.org to find local recycling options. If a CFL breaks, cleanup information is atwww.epa.gov/mercury/spills/index.htm#fluorescent. And advise your employees and customers what to do if they break a CFL.

–Evamarie Socha

Congresswoman: Hazardous Lighting Has No Place in the Home

CFLs may become a non-issue if a congresswoman from Minnesota has anything to do with it.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, a first-term Republican, introduced the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act in March, seeking to repeal the nationwide phase out of conventional light bulbs in favor of CFLs. Bachmann cites safety questions about the mercury in fluorescent lights as part of her reasoning. But as reported by the Star Tribune of Minneapolis in March, Bachmann says the government has no business telling consumers what kind of light bulbs they can buy.

"This is an issue of science over fads and fashions," Bachmann told the newspaper. "Congress tends to jump on whatever the current buzz is in the 24-hour news cycle."

The bill was referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee but has not yet been scheduled for action. It has 11 co-sponsors. President Bush signed The Energy Bill last December that mandates phasing in energy-saving light bulbs starting in 2012.–Evamarie Socha


Alpine Lumber Co., Westminster, Colo., bought five lumberyards from Las Vegas-based A.C. Houston Lumber Co., Alpine president Bill Miller confirmed April 7. The stores are in Angel Fire, Gallup, and Farmington, N.M., and in Crested Butte and Durango, Colo. Financial details weren't disclosed. ...ProBuild Holdings announced April 1 that it has purchased the assets of Khempco Building Supply of Columbus, Ohio. The deal brings to ProBuild a lumberyard and truss facility in Delaware, Ohio, a truss plant in Dry Ridge, Ky., and a commercial door facility in Columbus. Terms of the sale weren't disclosed. ...Builders FirstSource has purchased the Wheeler's Building Materials distribution center in Chelsea, Ala., a press report said. The acquisition should boost BFS in the Birmingham, Ala., market while helping Rome, Ga.-based Wheeler's get back into shape after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection late last year.


Smithfield, N.C.'s Guy C. Lee Building Materials opened a new store in New Bern, N.C., a rapidly growing area that has been dubbed the "Inner Banks." Garris Evans Lumber Co. of Greenville and Wilson, N.C., also opened a store in New Bern this year. ... Moran Lumber has returned to the city in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Kirk Lipnitz, owner of a True Value Hardware outlet in nearby St. Ignace, Mich., told ProSales that lumber sales resumed in Moran earlier this month in the same place where he's had a hardware store for the past few years. Lipnitz's grandfather opened an LBM operation in the 1920s, then handed it over to Lipnitz's uncle, who sold it to Cheboygan Lumber, which eventually closed the yard.


ProSales has learned that 84 Lumber executive Mark Garboski has left the company and joined ProBuild, the Denver-based company that is the nation's largest pro dealer. Last year, COO Bill Myrick also left forProBuild after a 25-year career at 84 Lumber. ...Nine lumberyard people in Texas and Louisiana will serve as the Lumbermen's Association of Texas' officers for 2008-09. The new officers are: Chuck PoolMain Street Lumber, Denison, Texas, president; Steve HarmsBMC West, Rosenberg, Texas, first vice president; Bob AshleyWest End Lumber, Houston, second vice president; John JonesCassity Jones Lumber & Hardware, Longview, Texas, treasurer; Rufus DuncanHBC-Higginbotham's, Comanche, Texas, secretary; Brian McCoyMcCoy's Building Supply, San Marcos, Texas, sergeant at arms; Bobby CrowleyRichardson Lumber & Manufacturing, Dallas, associate vice president; Steve AshyDoug Ashy Building Materials, Lafayette, La., Louisiana vice president; and Bart GravesJohn E. Quarles Co., Fort Worth, Texas, immediate past president. ...Burrows president and chief executive officer ofWeyerhaeuser Real Estate Co. He succeeds Daniel Fulton, who became president of Weyerhaeuser Co. in December. ...Techtronic Industries Co. appointed Mike Farrah as power tool division president forTTI-North America. Farrah will oversee business operations for the Ryobi and Ridgid brands. ...Ansell Protective Products Inc., a Red Bank, N.J., maker of hand protection and safety apparel, promoted Brian Perry to national accounts manager for corporate accounts.

In Brief

Allied Building Products Corp., East Rutherford, N.J., reported it has earned the chain of custody certification for distributors from the Forest Stewardship Council. ...The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association has launched the Web site GreenCabinetSource.org, devoted to KCMA's Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP) and promoting environmentally sound practices. ...Carrier Corp.'s Residential and Light Commercial Systems business in February honored three leaders in the HVAC industry with itsDealer Hall of Fame Award. Honorees are Mitchell Cropp of Cropp-Metcalfe, Bill Joplin of Bill Joplin's Compressor Services Inc., and Earl Smith of E. Smith Heating & Air Conditioning.

Spread the word!

Send your company's news, announcements, and events to Evamarie Socha, via e-mail esocha@hanley wood.com or fax 202.785.1974.